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Murder suspect tried to buy gun day of homicide

Posted June 25, 2009
Updated July 9, 2009

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— Court documents show the suspect in the death of Paula McCance, 83, who was found dead at 6937 Rock Service Station Road on Monday, tried to buy a gun the day of the homicide.

Highway Patrol officials arrested Michael Thomas Clark Jr., 37, during a traffic stop on Thursday.

Deputies charged him with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony larceny of a motor vehicle, first-degree burglary, possession of heroin and conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin.

Arrest made in elderly woman's death Arrest made in elderly woman's death

He appeared before a magistrate around 3 a.m. Friday and was expected to be in court at 2 p.m.

According to arrest warrants, Clark broke into McCance's home sometime between 9:10 p.m. Sunday and 2:30 a.m. Monday. He stole her purse, credit cards, garage door opener, a cell phone and her Pontiac car, authorities said.

McCance was shot once in the upper body, officials said.

"He's homeless, but he was staying in a double-wide mobile home at 6941 Rock Service Station Road, which is right behind Ms. McCance," said Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "It's sad that (an 83-year-old woman) suffered from this. I mean, there's no reason to kill anybody, especially somebody that age and somebody with failing health."

A relative called 911 after finding McCance's body inside the home around 5:30 p.m. Monday. McCance lived alone but her sister was supposed to be moving in with her on Tuesday.

Family members have planned a memorial service for 2 p.m. Saturday at Montlawn Funeral Home Chapel, 2911 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh.

On the same day McCance was found dead inside her home, the FBI informed probation officials that Clark tried to buy a gun at a Raleigh pawn shop. He was denied, but the attempt triggered a warrant for his arrest for a probation violation on Wednesday.

Court documents show Clark has a criminal history.

In May 2008, Clark was arrested on drug charges. He was found guilty and sentenced to probation.

In July and October last year and January of this year, court papers show Clark missed scheduled probation meeting. Probation officials said he attended other meetings and met with officers, so no arrest warrant was issued.

In April, probation officials reported that Clark was nowhere to be found.


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  • Viewer Jun 26, 2009

    The system in place prevented this criminal from buying a gun.

  • Professor Jun 26, 2009

    Some people just love going to prison.

  • ibur911 Jun 26, 2009

    Looks like yet another pletura of murders, or other violent felony committed where the suspect was on probation. When is the State going to realize probation DOSEN'T WORK! Imprisonment does, our taxes keep going up, do something productive with them and build more jails and prisons. At least that will provide more jobs.

  • kmb0694 Jun 26, 2009


    Did you even read the article?

  • time4real Jun 26, 2009

    "Throw him under the jail."
    Only after he's tossed out of a window!

  • EZeegoing Jun 26, 2009

    Homeless and living in a trailer ?? Stopped at a traffic stop ?? He could not have been to bad off if he had a vehicle and roof over his head.

  • kmb0694 Jun 26, 2009

    This is from wtvd, and quoted from Harrison:

    "He has a friend that has ties to that mobile home so he was staying there part time in and out, but basically he was homeless," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

    Harrison also said the owner of the mobile home was a friend and co-worker of Clark's.

  • concerncitizen Jun 26, 2009

    I guess it's a good thing the sister didn't get a chance to move in, the fool probably would have killed them both! Killing these fools won't change anything, but locking them up for every with no reason to let them out until they die will!!!!

  • panthers254 Jun 26, 2009

    yeah, but MOST homeless folks dont kill 80 year old women.

    dont make excuses for him. if he is unemployed, he should go thru the proper channels to seek assistance.... not kill an elderly woman.

    the man was a heroin addict, he wasnt robbing the woman to buy a ham sandwich.

  • seaturtlesrule Jun 26, 2009


    Seriously...why don't they allow the people of NC to VOTE for or against the death penalty? It is the ONLY deterrent for trash like this guy...Jail just seems like resort-time now, and gives these monsters "street-cred"...and DECENT citizens pay for their short vacation.

    This guy is EVIL. He deserves the same EVIL he unleashed on the poor elderly woman...God bless her and her family~~~